In the first place, I am not overly depressed by my sons' growing up and leaving. It only takes a moment to read a poem, think back to all the years you've parented, realize how quickly they've flown, have a lump form in your throat, swallow the lump, and there, it's over.
And it only takes a moment to walk down the road with your son, look up at him, notice he now towers over your head, he's maturing, have a lump form in your throat, swallow the lump, and there, that's over. You move on and laugh and plan dinner, and argue about who won the game we all played the night before....I promise, I am not sitting here blubbering all the time.
As a matter of fact, there is a flip side to your sons growing up and moving on. And, just between you and me, I do enjoy that side.
The first thing I noticed when our two oldest moved out was the quiet. No one came home in the middle of the night, flipping lights on, making a late night snack, watching TV....when we fell asleep we actually stayed asleep.
The grocery bill isn't what it used to be and the house stays clean a bit longer than before.
One of the more important things we've noticed is that we've had more time to spend with our other two sons. We're not as "spread out" and tired as we used to be-there's "more" of us to give to fewer of them.
After the initial shock and sadness of having a shrinking family, I also realized that in some ways I have less weight on my shoulders, especially now that our two oldest have married. I still sometimes worry about them, and I'll always pray for them, but now, more than ever, I look at God and say, "Well, those kids are your problem now." I've released them to Him and am learning to trust Him with their lives. They truly are no longer my responsibility and I must admit, there is some relief in that. (Is that weary old age rearing it's ugly head?)
The best part of all of it is that those two oldest sons, and their wives, are becoming our friends. We get together for a meal, or an evening together and we laugh, play games, tease each other...we talk about house projects or trips we'd like to take together...the stress of parenting them is over and new relationships are forming.
Ever since I was a young teenage girl I think my favorite word has been bittersweet; life often is bittersweet, isn't it? I just need to be careful which side of the word I live on, that's all. I could sit here and feed the lump in my throat and let it grow, or I can look at who my sons have become and be thankful.
I just felt like I need to clarify that, especially after my last two posts...